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  #1  
Old 06-04-2020, 11:32 PM
christianlukegates christianlukegates is offline
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Default Catalina issue with large edit sessions?

Hi there- first post here, have looked everywhere to see if anyone else has experienced this issue:


I'm an audiobook editor, and typically my sessions are not complex mix-wise, with typically one or two mono audio tracks, a handful of (mostly native) plugins for dynamic processing, sometimes one or two Waves and Izotope plugins, and my project workflow is typically around 10 hours or so of audio (16 or 24 bit mono wav) in a session, which by the end has thousands of micro-edits where ive placed room tone where its needed etc. This has not been an issue in the 7-8 years or so ive been working like this, going back to PT11 on an 11" Macbook Air. However. Due to a battery malfunction in my 2018 MBP (running Mojave), and an inability to get it fixed anywhere due to lockdown, i was forced to purchase a new machine so i could keep working. My new MBP (16" 2.3 i9) is running Catalina by default. I installed PT 2020.5 and opened a session i was previously working on. It plays fine, but the instant i tried to do *anything* (cut, copy, paste, save) it instantly beach-balls, hanging for 1-2 minutes, while the audio continues to play (but screen frozen etc). I created a blank session, imported unedited audio (several hours worth), no plugins- works fine. Added some third party plugins- works fine. Performed some simple edits (some cuts etc)- works fine. Apply some more complex edits (strip silence, overlay audio to new track on top of a room tone file)- the bad behaviour returns. I uninstalled 2020.5, tried it with 2020.3- same behaviour. I tried it with 2019.6 (as i read that version is compatible with Catalina)- same issue. Ive deduced that for whatever reason, Catalina does not want to co-operate with my edit sessions. Unfortunately, Apple have made it impossible to obtain the installer for Mojave, so i cannot switch out the OS (unavailable iin the UK, for some reason), and Apple support have been useless. The MBP is brand new, diagnostics state that it is healthy, and ive test run other audio software (Ableton), creating 20-30 tracks all containing hours of audio and running CPU heavy plugins to really stress it out, and the machine handles it perfectly, so its literally just Pro Tools thats the issue.. has anyone else experienced this?? As this affects my ability to work im really stressing out over this,,!!
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  #2  
Old 06-05-2020, 09:33 AM
christianlukegates christianlukegates is offline
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Default CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

Hi


Clarification of my previous post; Im trying to run PT 2020.5 on a 2019 MBP 16 (16GB, 2.3 i9, OSX Catalina 10.15.5) but im getting a CPU spike of 110% every time i do *anything* other than press play, rendering PT useless.- im an audiobook editor so edit single track sessions of mono audio, very light on mixing and rarely any third party plugins (the edit sessions are typically large tho at average 10 hours with thousands of micro edits). This is handled absolutely smoothly on my old MBP 2014 runing Mojave, but on the brand new machine its a dead loss. Ive tried 2020.3 and 2019.12 also, exactly the same happens. Diagnostics on the machine come back perfect, and other audio applications such as Live (pushed deliberately hard) work as they should. Im replicating all my settings from my other machine (buffer, cache etc) and am now at a loss. Whats going on, is there something im overlooking? Has anyone else experienced this?
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  #3  
Old 06-13-2020, 08:28 AM
dmitch dmitch is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

I have the same software, on a new six-core iMac, and am seeing lots of CPU spikes that I didn't get before with previous versions of PT and macOS. Not so bad that it's totally useless, but pretty bad. Also sometimes on session open, the whole program hangs as soon as the session windows appear. Some sessions won't open without 4 or 5 attempts.
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  #4  
Old 06-13-2020, 12:03 PM
rinky rinky is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

I wish Avid would write a code to pinpoint the plugin(s) that are causing these persistent 9173 errors!
I did a clean install when I got my 7,1. Spent over a week testing 3rd party plugins and I still get the cpu errors!
Such an expensive DAW and these errors still exist.
This is nuts!
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2020, 02:05 PM
dmitch dmitch is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by rinky View Post
I wish Avid would write a code to pinpoint the plugin(s) that are causing these persistent 9173 errors!
I am not at all convinced this is the fault of any one plugin. Here's why:

Turning off hyperthreading is a well-known and widely used workaround to minimize CPU spike errors. I am well versed with multithreaded coding; it's highly unlikely that the enabled/disabled state of hyperthreading can cause any problem in a plugin.

When I decrease the number of CPUs available to Pro Tools (using the Instruments app), I see fewer CPU spike errors. I have some test cases which only work correctly with two (or one) CPU cores enable (out of the 12 virtual cores normally available in my Mac). Come on: with fewer CPU cores available, I should see *more* CPU spikes since there is less silicon available to do work.

When the total CPU meter shows a 100+% spike, I *never* see an individual core's CPU meter at anything over 20%. For a CPU spike to be seen as "Not enough CPU available" by PT, an individual CPU core would have to be overloaded. I never see that. And I see CPU spikes all the time these days (since PT 2020.5).

Here's my theory: PT is calculating the "total CPU usage" incorrectly, and is using that erroneous calculation to throw "CPU Spike / Not enough CPU available" errors. If there are 6 cores, the max CPU usage really is 600% (as shown in most other CPU meters I know). If you want to normalize that to "100% is the max", then you should divide the total current usage by the number of CPU cores. For example if all 6 cores are running at 20%, add those up and you get a total of 120% usage. That's not an overload. You should divide that 120% by 6 and get, you guessed it, 20% total usage, which is not an overload. I'm sure that Pro Tools is not doing that. That's why things *appear* to get better in this area when you turn off hyperthreading or reduce the number of CPU cores. What happens in both of those cases is, you reduce the *total* number of CPU cycles in any given period. If the "total CPU usage" meter were correctly normalized to account for the number of cores being used, then the "total CPU usage" would not change when you turned off hyperthreading or reduced the number of cores.

That's my theory.
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  #6  
Old 06-13-2020, 06:19 PM
fsavell fsavell is offline
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Default Re: Catalina issue with large edit sessions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christianlukegates View Post
Hi there- first post here, have looked everywhere to see if anyone else has experienced this issue:


I'm an audiobook editor, and typically my sessions are not complex mix-wise, with typically one or two mono audio tracks, a handful of (mostly native) plugins for dynamic processing, sometimes one or two Waves and Izotope plugins, and my project workflow is typically around 10 hours or so of audio (16 or 24 bit mono wav) in a session, which by the end has thousands of micro-edits where ive placed room tone where its needed etc. This has not been an issue in the 7-8 years or so ive been working like this, going back to PT11 on an 11" Macbook Air. However. Due to a battery malfunction in my 2018 MBP (running Mojave), and an inability to get it fixed anywhere due to lockdown, i was forced to purchase a new machine so i could keep working. My new MBP (16" 2.3 i9) is running Catalina by default. I installed PT 2020.5 and opened a session i was previously working on. It plays fine, but the instant i tried to do *anything* (cut, copy, paste, save) it instantly beach-balls, hanging for 1-2 minutes, while the audio continues to play (but screen frozen etc). I created a blank session, imported unedited audio (several hours worth), no plugins- works fine. Added some third party plugins- works fine. Performed some simple edits (some cuts etc)- works fine. Apply some more complex edits (strip silence, overlay audio to new track on top of a room tone file)- the bad behaviour returns. I uninstalled 2020.5, tried it with 2020.3- same behaviour. I tried it with 2019.6 (as i read that version is compatible with Catalina)- same issue. Ive deduced that for whatever reason, Catalina does not want to co-operate with my edit sessions. Unfortunately, Apple have made it impossible to obtain the installer for Mojave, so i cannot switch out the OS (unavailable iin the UK, for some reason), and Apple support have been useless. The MBP is brand new, diagnostics state that it is healthy, and ive test run other audio software (Ableton), creating 20-30 tracks all containing hours of audio and running CPU heavy plugins to really stress it out, and the machine handles it perfectly, so its literally just Pro Tools thats the issue.. has anyone else experienced this?? As this affects my ability to work im really stressing out over this,,!!
FWIW worth I'm having all kinds of dramas on my new MacPro with Catalina on large mix sessions. I've a bunch of cases with support but there doesn't seem to be any logical solution with regards to it being a 3rd party plugin. I get Automation too Dense, repeat 9171 errors, random crashes when loading a session or bouncing. I feel like there's some issue with memory or caching of plugins but it only seems to affect heavy sessions.

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  #7  
Old 06-14-2020, 01:28 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmitch View Post
I am not at all convinced this is the fault of any one plugin. Here's why:

Turning off hyperthreading is a well-known and widely used workaround to minimize CPU spike errors. I am well versed with multithreaded coding; it's highly unlikely that the enabled/disabled state of hyperthreading can cause any problem in a plugin.

When I decrease the number of CPUs available to Pro Tools (using the Instruments app), I see fewer CPU spike errors. I have some test cases which only work correctly with two (or one) CPU cores enable (out of the 12 virtual cores normally available in my Mac). Come on: with fewer CPU cores available, I should see *more* CPU spikes since there is less silicon available to do work.
Uh no... multithreading concurrency makes all this hard, the more cores you allow the more software may have a chance to trip up with that multithreading. Some combination of Pro Tools and/or plugin issues. You cannot guess what the causes are like this. The way to test for plugin issues is to remove the pluings and test.

Quote:
When the total CPU meter shows a 100+% spike, I *never* see an individual core's CPU meter at anything over 20%. For a CPU spike to be seen as "Not enough CPU available" by PT, an individual CPU core would have to be overloaded. I never see that. And I see CPU spikes all the time these days (since PT 2020.5).

Here's my theory: PT is calculating the "total CPU usage" incorrectly, and is using that erroneous calculation to throw "CPU Spike / Not enough CPU available" errors.
That is not at all how Pro Tools generates a AAE CPU error. Those error get generated when internal operations exceed a latency threshold. If you are getting a CPU error there is a real issue. The text of the message talking about CPU confuses lots of people. CPU errors happening at low CPU utilization is absolutely a common thing.

All this you are doing with looking at CPU meters and worrying about what they report is likely a complete waste of time. I doubt anybody here really know how those meters actually work and what they really show. (And the moment you turn on hyperthreading the meters just cannot make sense).

Before jumping in and playing with hyperthreading and disabling cores have you tried to exclude third party plugins? You exclude them by removing them from Pro Tools, not guessign what problem are or are not by looking at CPU meters.

If you have a test session using no third party plugins that generates errors on 2020.5 that go away as you reduce the number of CPU cores please share it, I'll try it on my 6/12 core i9 MacBook Pro, and I expect Avid would want to see it.
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2020, 02:00 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by christianlukegates View Post
Hi


Clarification of my previous post; Im trying to run PT 2020.5 on a 2019 MBP 16 (16GB, 2.3 i9, OSX Catalina 10.15.5) but im getting a CPU spike of 110% every time i do *anything* other than press play, rendering PT useless.- im an audiobook editor so edit single track sessions of mono audio, very light on mixing and rarely any third party plugins (the edit sessions are typically large tho at average 10 hours with thousands of micro edits). This is handled absolutely smoothly on my old MBP 2014 runing Mojave, but on the brand new machine its a dead loss. Ive tried 2020.3 and 2019.12 also, exactly the same happens. Diagnostics on the machine come back perfect, and other audio applications such as Live (pushed deliberately hard) work as they should. Im replicating all my settings from my other machine (buffer, cache etc) and am now at a loss. Whats going on, is there something im overlooking? Has anyone else experienced this?
Please follow the DUC rules and do not create multiple threads like this, you should reply to your previous thread, which will also often help you get better assistance.

[Could a mod merge this thread with http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=410607]

---

Basic things to look for here are covered in many threads on DUC and under "help us help you" up the top of each DUC web page.

Is your system fully optimized? do every last thing no matter how painful for now. You can back off later, but for now do it all, including disable bluetooth, disable wifi, etc.

What IO buffer size and sample rate are you running at? If you can set it to a large size that is stable, then reduce until it becomes unstable and do more troubleshooting at that buffer size trying to get it more stable.

How did you get stuff setup on the new Mac? Did you use the system migration utility to migrate from your old Mac? What did you move with that utility? What apps and plugins and drivers did you install from scratch?

What audio interface and driver version?

Where are you recording sessions to? (disk issues can cause CPU errors).

Make sure your disk cache is set to a few GB not "normal". I assume that will fully caches your sessions.

The run thought, testing after each step:

Trash prefs using Peter Gates utility. (and keep doing this between other tests).

Move all .aaxplugin files out of the plugin folder (/Library/Application\ Support/Avid/Audio/Plug-Ins). And Trash Prefs again. Pro Tools will put back the default plugins when it starts. (And importantly it does not only matter if you use any plugin in your session or not... we care if you have removed all third party plugins installed on your system (and potentially all Avid plugins if you have incorrectly upgraded Pro Tools)... plugins don't need to be instantiated in your session to cause all types of problems, they just need to be installed in Pro Tools).

Test using Build-In Output as the playback engine

Test starting with an empty session, not from a template.

Create a new macOS Admin User and test from that account.

At this point test it all, from this account, with all third party plugins removed, using built in output as the playback engine, with a new amptu session, after trashing prefs etc.

You might want to try a clean reinstall of macOS and clean install of Pro Tools and ILM and nothing else at all and see if that works... do that on test container on your boot drive (if you are comfortable with administering the system/APFS disk management) or on a external SSD.

And if you get this far and are still stuck you should be opening a support incident with Avid.

I'd also be sure to turn off remote telemetry since it's known to cause other issues on 2020.5.

If this is a new MBP 16" I think they only ever ran Catalina so worrying about getting an installer off Apple is a waste of time. Chasing Apple and running tests on the Mac hardware is likely a waste of time. You have lots of basic troubleshooting to do before suspecting the hardware.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 06-14-2020 at 02:23 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-14-2020, 04:09 AM
Southsidemusic's Avatar
Southsidemusic Southsidemusic is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

Merged and Purged Thanks Darryl
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  #10  
Old 06-14-2020, 06:25 AM
dmitch dmitch is offline
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Default Re: CPU spike- Catalina / 2020.5

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl Ramm View Post

All this you are doing with looking at CPU meters and worrying about what they report is likely a complete waste of time.
Except...there is 1-to-1 correspondence between the new CPU errors I'm seeing with 2020.5, and CPU spikes I see on the activity meters. I believe that, at least as of recently, PT is reporting those red spikes - or whatever causes them - as errors.

Quote:
(And the moment you turn on hyperthreading the meters just cannot make sense).
What? Why? There is no difference at the application level between 2 cores running hyperthreaded and 4 cores running without hyperthreading. The meters could make sense if they were programmed correctly.

Quote:
If you have a test session using no third party plugins that generates errors on 2020.5 that go away as you reduce the number of CPU cores please share it, I'll try it on my 6/12 core i9 MacBook Pro, and I expect Avid would want to see it.
OK, that I have not seen yet. I'll spend some time trying to repro the errors I've been seeing in a session like that.

Thanks.
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